Inside Dental Technology
Outsourcing with a Personal Touch
Providing team-oriented service with core3dcentres®
Twenty-five years ago, long before dental implants moved into mainstream dentistry, Darrel Clark, CDT had the foresight and business instinct to understand the role implant dentistry would play in the industry’s future and became a self-made specialist in this segment of dental technology. Although Clark Dental Laboratory was positioned as a full-service business when it opened its doors in 1988, the implant department always outpaced other segments of the business. Today, the scales are tipped heavily on the side of implant-supported prostheses as this Weatherford, Texas laboratory cashes in on the explosion of fixed hybrid implant cases.
Bobby Clark, CDT, Darrel’s son, witnessed the thriving growth of his father’s business, and, after getting a degree in marketing with a minor in managed information systems from Texas Tech University, decided he wanted to join his father in the business. But not, his father decreed, before he completed the San Antonio Health Science Center two-year dental technology program.
For the past eight years, Clark has managed the production side of the business while his father consults with clients and assists clinicians in the provisionalization stage of surgical treatment for seating same-day temporary dentures. “About 70% of our business today is fixed hybrid implant-supported restorations,” says Bobby Clark. “We have partnered with surgeon groups here in the Dallas area as well as in east, west, and south Texas. It keeps my father traveling extensively.”
Clark believes that the level of personalized service their small, eight-person laboratory provides customers, in addition to the quality of the products they deliver, keeps their client-base invested in their business. It is this kind of team-oriented service that Clark believes only a small operation like theirs can afford to offer. “Smaller laboratories know their individual customers well and can communicate with them as a team member,” says Clark. “By providing the personalized service that a larger laboratory can’t provide is how smaller operations like ours will stay competitive and successful.”
Clark values that same personalized service and level of close communication when it comes to partnering with vendors. Not too many years ago, the entire fabrication process took place in the laboratory. Clark was casting the fixed hybrid implant bars in sections and laser welding them together before finishing with acrylic and denture teeth. Today, the process has been streamlined by using scanning technology and CAD design software, leaving the milling of the titanium bars to an outsource provider. “We spent a great deal of time analyzing whether we should invest in milling technology to bring this portion of the production process in-house,” says Clark. “But when we put pen to paper it didn’t make financial sense for us at this time, given our small size.”
Considering the complexity of the cases they fabricate, Clark and his father wanted to make sure they partnered with providers that understood the precision requirements for implant bar cases, that were using medical-grade titanium, and that delivered an exact replica of the design created in the CAD design software. Their first experience with scanning and virtually designing implant bar cases was with a closed system provider. Because of client demand, however, they found they needed open source scan and design equipment, as well as an outsource company that could supply a wide range of implant system products. “We tried a number of different open-source outsource providers but had marginal success,” says Clark. “Designing these bars so that you are able to get the 10 mm to 15 mm of space you need for the bar and overdenture to fit well is critical. And then finding a provider that can deliver the bar design you sent them on a multitude of implant systems is the final critical element.”
When Clark began working with core3dcentres® he was not only impressed with the quality of the products they delivered, but also the team atmosphere when a particularly difficult case needed extra consultation. “The company is still small enough that you can talk and work with them as if they were part of your treatment planning team,” says Clark. “They are in Las Vegas and I’m in Texas but a good deal of the time I feel like they are just across the street. I can always get in touch with someone there and use Netviewer to work through a case and make sure I am getting the product I need.”
Clark also appreciates the quality control process core3dcentres uses to inspect the final product before delivery. There have been occasions when a core3dcentres representative has called to let him know a case will be another day or so because their quality control check spotted a problem. “Or I will call them and ask if a case can be rushed because the patient is going out of town or to an important business meeting,” says Clark. “These guys will do that for you just like we would do for one of our customers. It’s nice to know that if you are in a pinch you have someone watching your back.”
core3dcentres also is there to help Clark when a case calls for ball design or an out-of-the-box approach the CAD software cannot accommodate. “I have spent hours with Mark Ferguson, assistant manager, USA at core3dcentres, coming up with solutions to cases that require a specialized approach,” says Clark. “No other milling company would take the time to make the case work for my accounts like core3dcentres does.”
Core™ Customized Implant Solutions
Dramatically increase the scope of products and services you offer with core3dcentres’ Core™ Customized Implant Solutions. core3dcentres®’ open architecture industrial milling platform allows laboratories to supplement their current product line with a wide range of the latest esthetic options, without the risk and commitment of having to make a sizable cash investment.
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Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.